The boyfriend of Kaylin Gillis has spoken out about the final moments before she was shot and killed after they pulled into the wrong driveway.
The 20-year-old was killed in New York on Saturday when the couple entered the wrong driveway while searching for a party. The boyfriend, Blake Walsh, 19, told NBC News that his life has been destroyed.
The teenager from Cambridge, New York, told the network that he was driving the car with his girlfriend and two other passengers in the Ford Explorer searching for the party when two bullets flew in their direction, with one striking Ms Gillis.
She was fatally shot when they were exiting the driveway in Hebron, about 50 miles north of Albany.
Mr Walsh said the group was driving along with another car that also entered the same driveway but that they had realised they were in the wrong place and were in the process of leaving when the gunfire began.
“We thought we were at the right address,” he told NBC News. “We didn’t have any cell service to figure it out. As soon as we figured it out that we were at the wrong location, we started to leave, and that’s when everything happened.”
“My friend said, ‘They’re shooting, go!’ I tried to step on the gas as fast as I could, and that’s when the fatal shot came through,” he added.
“I want to believe it was instant. I’m hoping it was. I’m praying it was,” an emotional Mr Walsh told the outlet.
On Monday, Washington County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy told the press that the suspect, Kevin Monahan, 65, fired when the group was leaving his driveway and that they “clearly” posed no threat.
Ms Gillis was struck by one of the bullets and she was pronounced dead miles away after her friends called 911. Mr Walsh said she was hit in the neck and that they had to drive five miles to find cell service, but he said, “It did not feel like that. It felt like 30 seconds. The adrenaline was rushing so bad”.
The suspect’s attorney Kurt Mausert said Mr Monahan was arraigned on Sunday on a charge of murder in the second degree and he pled not guilty. Mr Mausert said Mr Monahan wasn’t intending to harm anyone when he discharged his firearm.
“When you have a victim and a tragedy, the thing everyone wants is a villain, but not every time there’s a victim and tragedy is there a villain,” the lawyer said, according to NBC News. “A number of errors were made that were unintentional.”
The attorney added that Mr Monahan is set to appear at a bail hearing on Wednesday.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Our children shouldn’t be met with lethal violence for making simple, completely harmless mistakes. This reckless, senseless gun violence has stolen far too many children from their families, and it must be stopped”.
Ms Gillis loved animals and was working towards becoming a marine biologist, Mr Walsh said. She graduated from Schuylerville High School in 2021. They met when he was a high school sophomore.
They had been together for more than four years and spoke about being part of the “two per cent”, pointing to an apparent figure of the number of high school couples who go on to get married.
“I had high hopes, and I had plans,” Mr Walsh told NBC News. “I didn’t want to be with anybody else, and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.”
“I want the world to know how good of a person she really was and how much she impacted everybody who had the fortunate opportunity to be in her life,” he added.
Mr Walsh said he’ll miss “how happy she was able to make me,” adding that “my world was taken from me Saturday”.
He said he’ll attend Mr Monahan’s bond hearing.
“I need to see who took my girlfriend away from me. I need to look at him,” he told the network.